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Principles of Mechanics

Fundamental University Physics

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About this book

This open access textbook takes the reader step-by-step through the concepts of mechanics in a clear and detailed manner. Mechanics is considered to be the core of physics, where a deep understanding of the concepts is essential in understanding all branches of physics. Many proofs and examples are included to help the reader grasp the fundamentals fully, paving the way to deal with more advanced topics. After solving all of the examples, the reader will have gained a solid foundation in mechanics and the skills to apply the concepts in a variety of situations.
The book is useful for undergraduate students majoring in physics and other science and engineering disciplines. It can also be used as a reference for more advanced levels.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Open Access

Chapter 1. Units and Vectors
Abstract
Physics is an exciting adventure that is concerned with unraveling the secrets of nature based on observations and measurements and also on intuition and imagination. Its beauty lies in having few fundamental principles being able to reach out to incorporate many phenomena from the atomic to the cosmic scale. It is a science that depends heavily on mathematics to prove and express theories and laws and is considered to be the most fundamental of physical sciences. Astronomy, geology, and chemistry all involve applications of physics’ principles and concepts. Physics doesn’t only provide theories, but it also provides techniques that are used in every area of life. Modern physical techniques were the major contributors to the wealth of mankind’s knowledge in the past century.
Salma Alrasheed

Open Access

Chapter 2. Kinematics
Abstract
Mechanics is the science that studies the motion of objects and can be divided into the following:
1.
Kinematics: Describes how objects move in terms of space and time.
 
2.
Dynamics: Describes the cause of the object’s motion.
 
3.
Statics: Deals with the conditions under which an object subjected to various forces is in equilibrium.
 
This chapter is considered with kinematics which answers many questions such as: How long it takes for an apple to reach the ground when it falls from a tree? What is the maximum height reached by a baseball when thrown into air? What is the distance it takes an airplane to take off?
Salma Alrasheed

Open Access

Chapter 3. Newton’s Laws
Abstract
In this chapter, dynamics which is a branch of mechanics will be discussed. Dynamics is concerned with the cause behind the motion of objects and answers questions such as: Why does a skydiver float in air? What makes an apple fall from a tree? Why a block connected to a spring oscillates when the spring is stretched? We will find that these motions occur when objects interact with each other, i.e., the apple is interacting with earth, the skydiver is interacting with air, and the block is interacting with the spring.
Salma Alrasheed

Open Access

Chapter 4. Work and Energy
Abstract
Energy is a very important concept that is heavily used in everyday life. Everything around us, including ourselves, needs energy to function. For example, electricity provides home appliances with the energy they require, food gives us energy to survive, and the sun provides earth with the energy needed for the existence of life! Experiments show that energy is a scalar quantity related to the state of an object. Energy may exist in various forms: mechanical, chemical, gravitational, electromagnetic, nuclear, and thermal. Furthermore, energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be transformed from one form to another. In other words, if energy were to be exchanged between objects inside a system, then the total amount of energy (the sum of all forms of energy) in the system will remain constant.
Salma Alrasheed

Open Access

Chapter 5. Impulse, Momentum, and Collisions
Abstract
When two billiard balls collide, in which direction would they travel after the collision? If a meteorite hits the earth, why does the earth remain in its orbit? When two cars collide with each other, why is one of the cars more damaged than the other? We will find that to answer such questions, new concepts must be introduced.
Salma Alrasheed

Open Access

Chapter 6. System of Particles
Abstract
In the previous chapters, objects that can be treated as particles were only considered. We have seen that this is possible only if all parts of the object move in exactly the same way An object that does not meet this condition must be treated as a system of particles. Next, we will see that the complex motion of this object or system of particles can be represented by the motion of a point located at the center of mass of the system. The center of mass moves as if all of the mass of the object is concentrated there and as if the net external force acting on the system is applied there (at the center of mass). As well as representing an object by a particle, the concept of the center of mass is used to analyze the motion of many systems such as a system of two colliding blocks (particle-like objects) and the system of two colliding subatomic particles such as the neutron with the nucleus.
Salma Alrasheed

Open Access

Chapter 7. Rotation of Rigid Bodies
Abstract
Rotational motion exists everywhere in the universe. The motion of electrons about an atom and the motion of the moon about the earth are examples of rotational motion. Objects cannot be treated as particles when exhibiting rotational motion since different parts of the object move with different velocities and accelerations. Therefore, it is necessary to treat the object as a system of particles.
Salma Alrasheed

Open Access

Chapter 8. Rolling and Static Equilibrium
Abstract
Rolling motion represents the general plane motion of a rigid body. It can be considered as a combination of pure translational motion parallel to a fixed plane plus a pure rotational motion about an axis that is perpendicular to that plane. The axis of rotation usually passes through the center of mass. In Sect. 6.4, we’ve seen that the motion of an object (or a system of particles) can always be considered as a combination of the motion of the object relative to its center of mass plus the motion of its center of mass relative to some origin O.
Salma Alrasheed

Open Access

Chapter 9. Central Force Motion
Abstract
A force is said to be central under two conditions. First, the direction of the force must always be toward or away from a fixed point (see Fig. 9.1). This point is known as the center of the force. Second, the magnitude of the force should only be proportional to the distance r between the particle and the center of the force.
Salma Alrasheed

Open Access

Chapter 10. Oscillatory Motion
Abstract
A motion repeating itself is referred to as periodic or oscillatory motion. An object in such motion oscillates about an equilibrium position due to a restoring force or torque. Such force or torque tends to restore (return) the system toward its equilibrium position no matter in which direction the system is displaced. This motion is important to study many phenomena including electromagnetic waves, alternating current circuits, and molecules. For a vibration to occur, two quantities are necessary to be present—stiffness and inertia.
Salma Alrasheed
Backmatter
Metadata
Title
Principles of Mechanics
Author
Salma Alrasheed
Copyright Year
2019
Electronic ISBN
978-3-030-15195-9
Print ISBN
978-3-030-15194-2
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15195-9

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